Surveillance & Privacy

14 January 2017

The Guardian view on internet privacy: technology can't fix it: Editorial The Guardian

For anyone who is really concerned about keeping their thoughts private there is only one piece of reliable technology: write with a pen on paper, and burn what you've written when you're done. For the rest of us, who want to get things done, there is an inevitable trade-off which we still don't entirely understand. We now carry with us everywhere devices that give us access to all the world's information, but they can also offer almost all the world vast quantities of information about us. The sense of personal integrity and boundaries that seems self-evident is actually the product of particular social arrangements which are profoundly affected by technology even though it doesn't determine them. Technological change could move us towards our better selves or our worse ones, but things can't stay as they are.

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12 January 2017

Cookie banner frustration to be tackled by EU BBC News

Plans to cut down on the "annoying" cookie banners that web users face have been released by the European Union.

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11 January 2017

WhatsApp, Facebook and Google face tough new privacy rules under EC proposal The Guardian

Messaging services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Gmail will face tough new rules on the tracking of users under a revision to the ePrivacy Directive proposed by the European Commission on Tuesday.

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Data Could Be the Next Tech Hot Button for Regulators New York Times

Wealth and influence in the technology business have always been about gaining the upper hand in software or the machines that software ran on.

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05 January 2017

Australia's data retention laws: Experts warn against opening up metadata to civil cases as telcos renew bid to change laws ABC News

Private phone and internet metadata collected under the Government's data retention scheme could be used in divorce cases or to combat internet piracy, law experts have warned, as the telecommunications industry launches a fresh push to change the laws.

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22 December 2016

EU's highest court delivers blow to UK snooper's charter The Guardian

"General and indiscriminate retention" of emails and electronic communications by governments is illegal, the EU's highest court has ruled, in a judgment that could trigger challenges against the UK's new Investigatory Powers Act - the so-called snooper's charter.

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EU court says mass data retention illegal Reuters

The mass retention of data is illegal, the European Union's highest court said on Wednesday, dealing a blow to Britain's newly passed surveillance law and signaling that security concerns do not justify excessive privacy infringements.

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20 December 2016

Google facing FTC scrutiny over privacy — yet again Washington Post

Consumer advocates have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission charging that Google violated user privacy through a policy change that gives the company more leeway to build profiles of people as they browse the Web and use Google services.

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15 December 2016

Yahoo says information from over 1 billion users has been stolen ABC News

Yahoo says it believes hackers stole data from more than one billion user accounts in August 2013, in what is thought to be the largest data breach at an email provider.

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21 November 2016

'Extreme surveillance' becomes UK law with barely a whimper The Guardian

A bill giving the UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world has passed into law with barely a whimper, meeting only token resistance over the past 12 months from inside parliament and barely any from outside.

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13 November 2016

A 10-Digit Key Code to Your Private Life: Your Mobile Phone Number New York Times

The next time someone asks you for your cellphone number, you may want to think twice about giving it.

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Your health information is neither safe nor secure ABC News

E-health files in the United States are being used for identity fraud and by paedophiles, according to a new report that highlights the vulnerabilities of online health systems.

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07 November 2016

Tim Berners-Lee warns of danger of chaos in unprotected public data The Guardian

Hackers could use open data such as the information that powers transport apps to create chaos, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has said.

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04 November 2016

Norwegian privacy complaint for fitness wristband makers BBC News

Norway's consumer watchdog has filed a formal complaint about the privacy policies of four fitness wristband companies.

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03 November 2016

Productivity Commission wants Australians to be given right to opt out of data collection The Guardian

The Productivity Commission wants to revolutionise how personal data is collected and handled in Australia.

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29 October 2016

Facebook executives feel the heat of content controversies Reuters

After Facebook's removal of an iconic Vietnam war photo stirred an international uproar last month, the social network's executives quickly backtracked and cleared its publication.

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WhatsApp warned over Facebook data share deal BBC News

WhatsApp has been warned by European privacy watchdogs about sharing user data with parent company Facebook.

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US Telecoms' Ambitions on Targeted Ads Seen Curbed by F.C.C.'s New Privacy Rules New York Times

In recent years, companies like Verizon and AT&T have made no secret of their ambitions to build online advertising businesses that can take on the behemoths of Silicon Valley.

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27 October 2016

How private are your favourite messaging apps? Amnesty

We've ranked 11 companies that run the world's most popular messaging apps - including Skype, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger - on how well they're using encryption to protect your online privacy.

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18 October 2016

UK spy agencies broke privacy rules says tribunal BBC News

UK spy agencies broke privacy rules by collecting large amounts of UK citizens' data without adequate oversight, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) has ruled.

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10 October 2016

Editorial: Surveillance in the Post-Obama Era New York Times

During his 2008 campaign, President Obama vowed to assert greater oversight of the massive surveillance apparatus built in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, arguing that the United States needed to strike a better balance between privacy and security and that all intelligence programs should be lawful.

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08 October 2016

Yahoo email spying claims prompt warning from UN rights tsar The Guardian

Yahoo's alleged scanning of emails of hundreds of millions of users at the request of US intelligence raises serious human rights concerns, according to a United Nations advocate.

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05 October 2016

Yahoo 'secretly scanned emails for US authorities' BBC News

Yahoo secretly scanned millions of its users' email accounts on behalf of the US government, according to a report.

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28 September 2016

Why data is the new coal: Deep learning needs to become more efficient if it is going to move from using data to categorise images of cats to diagnosing rare illnesses The Guardian

"Is data the new oil?" asked proponents of big data back in 2012 in Forbes magazine. By 2016, and the rise of big data's turbo-powered cousin deep learning, we had become more certain: "Data is the new oil," stated Fortune.

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18 September 2016

Don't let WhatsApp coax you into sharing your data with Facebook The Observer

When WhatsApp, the messaging app, launched in 2009, it struck me as one of the most interesting innovations I'd seen in ages - for two reasons. The first was that it seemed beautifully designed from the outset: it was clean, minimalist and efficient; and, secondly, it had a business model that did not depend on advertising. Instead, users got a year free, after which they paid a modest annual subscription.

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